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Name calling

1503 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  xololady
Ok. I want honest answers here.

Who has goats that come when called by their name.

I know someone will say, " All my goats know their names just like my children do. And they all ignore me when I call them."

It doesn't count if you only have one goat.
It doesn't count if they all come when you call one.

It only counts if you can call a single goat out of the herd by name.

Then I want to know how you trained him to do this.
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I can get Norm and Fred to look up to their individual names.- but they aren't coming- Lenny ignores me. Now the special whistle is a different story. They'll run the dog over for that. Goats remind me a lot of cats-- I think they know- they just don't care.
I would say that some of my goats know their names well and some not as good. The ones that know them well are my most friendly goats which could mean something. If they are all packed together it may or may not work to call one. Usually when they do their best is if they are alone and I call them. It could be the motion or movement that tells them to come rather than the name but they are pretty smart animals. I think they all know their names and just choose to ignore you. :lol: My goats are all 2 so maybe they will get better with age.

I say their names alot. I go into the pen and great every goat by name. They like to come to me and I hold their head and look at them in the eyes and give scratches saying their name. When I train I also use their name alot. Like not just saying "up" or "down"...I'll say "up Copper up"

They all probably think their real name is "Quit it Copper!" :?

---I can ask my son what his middle name is (he is almost 4) and he has to think really hard --but if I say "what does mommy call you when you are in trouble?" and he says Derek James right away! :D
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All 3 of my goats know that when I call the name of any one, somebody may get a treat (orange peels are their favorite). So if I call "Apache" he, and usually the other 2 also, will look up. If they see me waving a treat, and it looks better than what they are already eating, all 3 may or may not come running. But only the guy I called actually gets the treat. Whether they know that the treat is meant just for them or not, I don't know. They just know that a treat could be had if they come to me, and the first guy who gets there may get the treat. If I call a goat, but don't show a treat, then they just go back to what they were doing.

Goats only do what they want to do. Treats help to get them to do what you want them to do, but only if they see the treat as worth the effort. I think that the basic mechanism going on in a goat's mind is, "What's in it for me?" That probably applies to people too.
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We have 4 kids, three of which don't respond to their names. Our Togg, Moose, tends to be very needy and still cries a lot. Every time you say his name though, no matter what he's doing he will look up, look you in the eye and answer back with a hoarse little whine. He's always been the more alert and nervous one, but we're really working on that little whine :roll:
Until recently I sort of assumed most goat knew their names. My two four year olds that I've had since babies definately know and respond to their individual names. I can call a single goat and he will come running to me. They go on daily hikes and I think it's a combination of using their names with both associated rewards and No commands. To distract them from things I knew they would try to get into (like plastic flagging along roads) I would call them to me by name then give a treat (they love orange peels also). When they do something I don't want them to (like eating the plastic flagging) I always use their name with a sharp No. If only one of them is doing something wrong they definately know who is getting yelled at and stop (well usually). I just got two 2 year olds and was surprised that they don't seem to have a clue as to what their names are. So now I'm also wondering how to actually go about training them to respond to their names.
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All of our goats definately know their names. Whenever one is being naughty, I say "Aye - so-and-so" and that goat looks up. None of the others take any notice unless they are being naughty too. If I don't know who it is, I just say "Aye... " and they will normally stop, or if they have bitten or butted someone, jump back a little and behave.
Almost all will come immediatly every time I call - maybe because they are dairy goats and we train them from the time they are a day old. When I need the next doe on the milking stand, I can call whoever I want and she will come - unless she is desperately in heat and wagging to the buck, and still they often come despite that. I could (and sometimes do) call the ones who don't usually go in the milking shed (like the wethers) and they always come - and often only the one I called, although sometimes lots of kids and yearlings will come racing over. :roll: They do know their order to go on the milking stand or on the floor, but are always willing to come, even if fighting or laying down, when I call. They also come when I don't have feed - I sometimes go to fetch them when we have visitors, or just when I want to see them, and I can just call until I hear an answering marr or see one and then call a few more times and they'll come. It is such joy to go about 700m from where they are grazing like little dots in the distance, and call a few times and see them all start turning and come galloping over, and then race with me where ever I want to go. The tamest ones are normally the first, like my yearling Crystl, or favourite wether Twinkle, but the older does will come straight up too, even if there is no chance of feed. Maybe because I have stayed out with them most of the day years ago, maybe because they are all really tame, the whole herd will come along where ever I go, and during kidding season this is really useful as I can stay with them for half a day when I want and they will accept me as their leader.
How we trained them was originally with feed for older ones, calling their name and rewarding with a handful of feed or letting them get feed for doing a trick. With baby kids we play with them for hours when they are babies, and we run and jump and dance with them, and they accept us as one of them, although it sometimes takes until they are two or three weeks old if they are independent, which they all like to pretend they are at a certain age. They learn their names when we call them to play, or call them to milk, or just to come along. They learn to follow like dogs, but also to know their names and come. Only two kids that we got recently who have already been fully bottle reared don't come to their names - they follow like dogs also, but if they don't want to come then they don't, which I think they have learned from not being trained well enough when they were younger.
This is my avater photo
Some of the herd (including some we have sold) following me quietly to the goat yard:
Cazz :p


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i have never been able to train any animal to come to its name. i agree with packfish: goats are like cats... they know, they just dont care...

cazz: those pics are awesome! how many do u have?

i got an idea from a book series i read... since i only have two goats i will be trying it... in the books she kills a wild horse for food. she is butchering it and notices a foal. hyenas are messing with it and since she hates hyenas and relized she just killed its mom she takes it to her new cave and raises it. ***this is set in times of the mammoth*** it learns about her and she learns about it. it becomes her adopted child of sorts and it trusts her with her life. considering all the horse does for her in the story (and most of it seems plausible) i figure why not a goat?
the first baby(s) born to my first goat(s) will be an experiment of sorts.

i'm totally psyched!!! :D
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Our goats have to learnt to do as their told - we make them and train them to. Depending on the reason, they are either fetched and rewarded when they come, or else punished if they know what they were doing naughty. Normally a gentle but firm hand will set them straight, but they do need the original bonding to you because punishment for not coming would be unthinkable if they didn't know what they were doing wrong. Our cats also learn to come - they learnt when they were kittens. ;)
We only have um, exactly twenty at the moment, we've gotten up over thiry in the last year, but have sold heaps of kids and a few does too. In the top photo is my absoloute baby, Kudumba Mountain Peek, who I sold. :( He was sooo special, would come to his name and was as close as personal (or more so) than a dog. He would follow me anywhere, and I could touch him all over - I used to 'milk' him from the day he was born, and he actually enjoyed it! :lol: He adored chin-rubs, and loved to snuggle up or play chasey or dance on logs. :cool:

In the bottom picture, there are goats, the two at the back below the tree aren't ours, and the pure brown one, Comet, is sold, as is the one furthest behind her, Jintabell, River, at the very front, and Bebida - just poking out from behind the bush at the front left. There are another eight goats that we currenty own not in that photo though.

You can definately have a goat nearly like that ohiogoatgirl. :p Many of our goats are like that with me, although I have special bonds with some of them. One, Megs, had a cesarean and her kid was dead. She adopted me, obvious choice, because I was her owner/trainer/mummy anyway. She then proceded to follow me everwhere she could poke her little nose into for the next six months. She is still very protective of me, even though that was quite a while ago, and one time her half brother, (a beautiful buck we sold) her mother, and Megs herself were fighting over who could 'own' me. I ended up with Ginger and Megs both standing over me and Tauphan laying down nearby. :D She will come at my slightest beck or call - I have a tiny sound I make, and she sees that as her special permission to come racing over, or else maker her way to me quickly and make sure I am all right. :D Twinkle I also love dearly, and he is not quite so protective as adoring. :oops: He is so sweet when he tips his head and asks for some feed, or when he looks up into my eyes with his beautiful gaze.
Crystl, my doeling, is also very special. She is very vocal when she hears me, and when I said about calling little dots in the distance, it is always her who answers immediatly and leads the rest racing back to me. She is very stubborn when leading with a collar or anything else, and has been since she was born, but without holding her collar or only some of the time, she will come hurrying along. I haven't got such a working/training bond with her, as she is not a trick goat (she is too heavy to even rear up - although I trained her to as a kid) and I don't spend much time with her, but she is still very special to me.
What I'd recomend to get any kids you have really tame, is bond with them from birth. The first few days are very important in developing a deep and lasting bond. Try to just ang out with the kids, if possible, don't just watch but play with them. That way they don't just associate you with work or quiet leader, but as a mate and a good friend, who they can come to anytime just to be around. Also, just walk around in the paddock or where ever they are to let them know that you're not a 'special' and out of the ordinary thing, but a normal and accepted part of life. Many people train their goats to be friendly when being caught or handled, but as well as that, they need to just like staying near you but not going hyper-active with excitement either. Like a person - just a very special one in your life, and one that is also below you in the social status but not afraid of you. The firmer part of training is natural when you have this kind of relationship with a goat, or at least I have found it so.
There is not much more wonderful than gazing into the eyes of an adoring goat-friend, who is more than just a goat.
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The weather here the last two weeks has been bitterly cold and my goats won't go in the shelter I made for them. So I got permission to put them in the fairbarn until things warm up. Last Sunday night, my son and I were on the mountain top loading goats into the pickup in a blizzard. Brownfeather is my old grumpy girl who thinks she is a horse and prefers the company of horses to goats. That night she was no where to be found. Not with the horses or the goats or the sheep or the ducks. I called and called her. I hadn't seen her in a couple days and forgot the storm because I was so worried about her. I finally gave up and headed back to the pickup. Well, I turned around and there she was trotting down the road to me. She was warm and dry! I don't know where she had been hiding, but she was the smartest one around because she had the perfect shelter. She could hear me calling her and finally decided to show herself. She probably didn't want to miss anything.

I believe they all know their names. I use them everytime I am around them. I got some new wethers and changed their names, and they even answer to their new names. Well, at least they look up with that look on their face like they just got caught doing something wrong.

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